Social Media Has a Lot to Say About “Why I Hunt”

by | Aug 26, 2016 | Featured, Lifestyle

There are many articles and blogs written to answer the question, “why I hunt.” Google it, you’ll see. It’s complex, right? And that makes the story angle compelling. Is a hunter a killer? A woodsman? Simply a predator seeking meat? Is it primal? Is it unnecessary?

Some of you are thinking, “whoa, whoa, stop making it so complex.” Jacob Dylan, son of Bob Dylan, shares this vibe. He keeps hunting motives simple in his song, “This End of the Telescope”:

Alone you ramble the whole of the world
Through black water jungles for bliss
It’s feast or famine you eat what you kill
There’s no need to bring God into this

Author Karen Blixen goes for a more cerebral point of view. She wrote a beautiful passage explaining what hunting means to her in “Out of Africa”:

“Hunters cannot have their own way, they must fall in with the wind, and the colours and smells of the landscape, and they must make the tempo of the ensemble their own.”

There are many others. Steven Rinella’s take on “Why I Hunt,” in Petersen’s Hunting and another in The New York Times are well worth the time it takes to read them; Paleo Magazine has it’s own version of “Why I Hunt”; and Rick Bass wrote an essay on the subject for the Sierra Club’s, Sierra Magazine. Interestingly, Bass largely focused on the hunted rather than the hunter:

A hunter’s imagination has no choice but to become deeply engaged, for it is never the hunter who is in control, but always the hunted, in that the prey directs the predator’s movements.

Many hunters echoed legendary bowhunter Fred Bear’s sentiment when explaining why they hunt.

Many hunters echoed legendary bowhunter Fred Bear’s sentiment when explaining why they hunt.

But you guys. Oh man. Our Bowhunting 360 community had a lot to say about hunter motives, too. We asked, “Tell us: why do YOU bowhunt?” The answers were wide-ranging and there were many. For a Facebook page that launched less than eight weeks ago, this post reached over 23,000 people and was shared over 100 times.

Sometimes, it’s easy to wonder if outdoor writers romanticize hunting or over-analyze and glorify motives. But then you read the answers to “why” from regular bowhunters — who don’t get their jollies from writing a hella good line — and you find the same motive pulsing through all those who participate.

Almost everyone named the same ultimate lure: the stillness and redemptive quality of the woods.

Johnny Taylor, Donalsonville, Georgia —

“A piece of mind that is unmatched by any manmade items just in awe at the wonder of getting up close and personal with deer.” 

Nicholas Lambert, New Orleans (Nicholas likes to ham it up) —

“Because ninjas killed my father … oh wait that’s the plot to Arrow (“Arrow” is a television series based on a DC Comic superhero).”

Rick Borsella, Kansas City —

“Once you become still, the world reminds us of just how small we are.”

Ann Elizabeth McReath, Arlington, Wisconsin —

“Relax’n just to sit out even if u don’t see a deer ur def see’n what life’s all bout.”

Clint Cox, Henderson, Tennessee (on bowhunting specifically)—

“Makes the hunt a lil more of a challenge and (you’re) up close and in person.”

Thomas Geisthardt—

“For the challenge and the love of the sport and to put food on the table.”

Dave Hauser, Lehighton, Pennsylvania—

“Wild game is the purest and for the most part leanest of meats. And I can’t say how mentally therapeutic archery hunting is.”

Steve Damico, Jackson, Wisconsin—


Larry Mohn, Girard, Ohio—

I’m a still hunter I get busted more times than I like to admit but it is part of my game I enjoy the woods the challenge of trying to out smart the deer I observe my whole surroundings I go shed hunting shrooming wild edibles I study the deer behavior and all deer don’t (act) the same it all depends on pressure water food source coverage accesses to and fro but one thing always stay the same they are creature of habit and that is where I come in bammm

Earl Halbert—

Because I don’t do drugs or alcohol but I love the high.


So why do you hunt? Go to our Facebook page and let us know what motivates you.

Interested in bowhunting, but you’ve never tried it? Here are a few places to get started:

  1. Check out Archery 360’s “Intro to Archery.” You’ll get a quick introduction to different types of bows and how to shoot.
  2. Read the basics on where to hunt.
  3. Now that you’re armed with enough knowledge to ask serious questions, find a bowhunting shop in your community and talk to an expert, get some instruction and meet like-minded people.

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